It’s still such a relatively new thing, this leaving of the house thing. This being without a child for hours thing. There is now this new space in my week where I have an entirely new and different identity. I am now, happily, becoming a bit of a regular at the coffee shop a mile away from W’s school. I have a parking spot that I prefer, I have a table that I prefer, and I asked for the green mug twice so now I no longer have to ask for it.

I am a woman at a corner table. I have my phone out, my laptop out and I have a curling, thin, white snake of a cord stretching across the table and connecting my computer to the plug in the wall. I blend in with all of the other people at the coffee shop.

This morning I woke up excited for this time. W was sleeping in so I took a quick shower and styled my hair. I put on a cute shirt and dabbed concealer under my eyes and at the spot on my chin. I hesitated for a moment but then went ahead and applied a thin coat of mascara. And once we were in the car I leaned over and reached for some pink lip gloss and painted my mouth.

You guys, I think it is finally happening. I think that having W in school and therefore having me not just hanging around the house, has helped me find the dimmer switch on my woman light. And I think I am turning it up a notch. When I am with W running errands I still don’t feel the urge to sparkle. The desire is to just leave the house without a major tantrum and then leave the grocery store without a major tantrum. And if I survive the day without having cereal bar smeared on my pants I celebrate.

Being without W, who I now realize I was using as my shield much like I know I once used fatness as a shield, I am forced to figure out who I am as a singular entity. And thankfully I am in a place right now where this is exciting and not freaking me out. I’m feeling good. I’m feeling optimistic about so many things. So rather than cover up and hide in the way back I am wearing my hair down and feeling like I am in very present.

And this means that little moments are happening. Like the moment I just had at the sugar station with the cute man with a big bag of bagels. That was nice.

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